Reflections on White House Response to DACA
September 6, 2017
North Liberty, IA — This Labor Day weekend was like few that we had experienced. We found ourselves trading late evening telephone calls talking about the likely outcome of this morning’s message delivered by United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions. We found ourselves literally predicting on point this morning’s sad and for a great many of us immensely disappointing White House response to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We recognized that the President of the United States would likely play to his “base” and his need to deliver on one of his campaign promises. We also thought that he would likely “punt” the decision to Attorney General Sessions thus providing some degree of separation from the decision itself. In other words, “politics.”
We also had the foresight to acknowledge that the President may have in fact found himself cornered by a population – DREAMERS – that he is previously on the record as voicing support for. But the President’s reflections on DACA and “Dreamers” spoke to his seemingly bi-polar response on any executive order associated with the Obama Administration. And yet President Trump spoke to the incredibly difficult decision surrounding DACA as he grew – at least in emotional support for these individuals who found themselves in the United States of America at no fault of their own. But ultimately the President through the words of Attorney General Sessions opted to “rescind” DACA which affects roughly 800,000 individuals.
But if there is a silver lining it is that this debate on DACA is far from over. The President in his desire to play politics has handed this matter to Congress to “do their job.” What this means is that we must take the long-term view on this matter and understand that the DACA conversation is far from over and arguably has only started. And if there is a new date to keep at our collective forefront it is March 5, 2018. This is the “new” deadline for DACA. In other words, there are roughly six months for Congress to act on our “Dreamers” and make DACA the law of the land.
But there will be hurdles and significant ones at that. We thought it prudent to take the strategic “long term view” in this matter and galvanize our thinking around the 5th of March. We recognize that for many of us within the Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity community that we have Brothers who are directly affected by DACA and its future. We also recognize that these Dreamers represent the very best of the “American Dream” and in them we see ourselves. How could we not? We also recognize that this is a time for strategic engagement of our Fraternity membership and not “knee-jerk” reactions (although we will confess that it will feel good in the moment but the “moment” will not strategically carry the day).
Over the coming weeks and months we will as Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity look to engage this matter strategically and within the multiple constituencies that comprise this formidable Brotherhood. Our charge is not an easy one as we must work to “humanize” this discussion at the local, regional, and national levels. We will strive for strategic alliances that make sense for us and that are in keeping with our desire to remove DACA from the political forum in which it is now engaged. This path will not be an easy one as forces are already at work attempting to link DACA with funding for “The Wall.” Suffice to say that the “politics” that surround this matter are ugly and yes at times deceitful. But at stake are the lives of 800,000 individuals who for the sake of their birth could be any one of us. A point that is not lost on us and we expect a point not lost on you, our SLB community.
Mark your calendars…March 5, 2018. Together let us work to make a difference in what may well be one of the defining conversations of our times. We assure you that for some 800,000 incredible individuals it is a conversation that they will take stock of day by day. You can read the detailed text from the Office of Homeland Security here. We would also like to recommend this website for comprehensive information, https://www.fwd.us/.
Patience our friends. We will be in touch. We will ask for your involvement, engagement & passion because Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity has a collective voice that must be heard.
Diego “Chapin” Back Chairman, Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc.
Xavier E. Romano Executive Director, Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc.